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The Kindle: A Review Of Amazon's Wireless Reading Device

Updated on March 20, 2011

I had the opportunity to spend some time trying out a friend's All-New Kindle and I have to say that it has some interesting features. Most noticeable is the much smaller body, 21% smaller than the previous version; however, the 6-inch reading screen has been preserved. It's also quite light, weighing in at only 8.5 ounces, which is a critical selling point for avid readers. Lastly, the load time for page-turning is surprisingly quick. With Amazon's lowered price points, the Kindle's features certainly justify the purchase!

Despite all its enhancements, the new Kindle hasn't yet convinced me that it warrants switching from a multi-function device (iPad) to a one-trick pony. The all-new Kindle may be a useful secondary gadget, however comparing it to the iPad is akin to comparing Apples to Amazons. There will be many a household with iPads and Kindles, but I'd rather consolidate my devices, not just paper.

I'm also not totally sold on either Apple or Amazon's monopolistic policies: I don't like to be tethered to a single supplier for my media. If I want to read an obscure work that Amazon doesn't carry, or want to listen to Mario Merola's Zappatore (try and find that on iTunes...) I don't want to have to get stuck with their Big Brother lists. "What we have is good for you, everything else doesn't exist."

For paper reduction the Amazon Kindle is a great choice; and at just $139 USD, Wi-Fi included, this device is priced to sell! Opt for the 3G model for just $189 USD.

Here is a brief review of The All-New Kindle and some of the great features it has to offer:

Highlights

Lightweight: Carry your entire library in one hand! Weighing only 8.5 ounces, the Kindle holds over 3,500 books, so you don't have to pick and choose which of your favorite books to take with you to the beach or in an airplane carry-on.

Fast Page Turns: The page turns on the Kindle are lightening fast, much faster than turning them by hand.

Improved Navigation: A touch-screen would have been nice; however it would have slowed down the page turns, not to mention the messy fingerprints you have to deal with. Amazon did improve the Kindle's navigation by relocating the toggle and home buttons to underneath the keyboard and they revamped the joystick controls. It now has precision for looking up words, highlighting and selecting text.

Higher Contrast: The new, improved contrast screen gives you 50% better readability, including sharper images and amazingly clear text.

New (Experimental) Web Browser: The WebKit-based browser makes it easy to find information you need right on your Kindle. It feels a little weird viewing web pages in shades of grey, but you get used to it after a while.

Protective Case: The Kindle case, covered in pebble-grain leather, includes a built-in reading light that draws power from the Kindle itself; a very handy feature for reading at nighttime. The inside of the case is lined with soft microfiber to prevent scratches on the screen. It also comes in seven different colors. Orange, pink, brown, red, lime green, blue and black, but at $59.99 USD each, I suggest getting the black one, ladies, as it goes with anything!

Continued In: The Kindle: A Review Of Amazon's Wireless Reading Device, Part 2

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